A neat little way to get students to focus on one improvement target per lesson: noodle card stands

I’ve been set the challenge of setting students a target for improvement each lesson. As I already do this explicitly in exercise books after marking I thought I’d go the extra mile to make the process even more explicit and came up with the idea of a ‘noodle card stand’.

Anyone who has been swimming at fun splash time or to an aqua aerobics class knows what a noodle is: an elongated tubular float, available in a range of colours. They are used to either create extra resistance in water or help give more support. And, if you dice them up to create circular disks you can also make an incision across the top surface to insert a piece of paper or card and place on a student table. You can then get the student to write their own improvement target on said card or paper, insert into the handy noodle disk slit, and gaze merrily at it all lesson while obviously taking appropriate action. 

Next question: should targets for improvement be ‘SMART’? Answers in comments below. 

See following images for step by step how to…

2 thoughts on “A neat little way to get students to focus on one improvement target per lesson: noodle card stands

  1. Love the idea and love the way in which it will help focus students. I am always wary of using SMART targets slavishly as sometimes they will achieve something unrelated to their target but equally as valuable and the danger is that they will worry that they have ‘failed’….. so, a variation on SMART targets would be my preference…… I know it is unfashionable to use words such as ‘improve’ or ‘better’ without quantifying them but I would use those sort of words and then maybe get students to self assess to see if they feel as though they have met the target….


    1. Thanks Peter, I think I’m inclined to agree! So far all students have accepted the blue disk and card with a bemused smile. It’ll be interesting to see if it has any effect 🙂 I think your idea of them reviewing their improvement against the target is a good one.


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